Yesterday, nearing noon, I heard Molly barking at something outside. Not long before, I'd gone to investigate her barking and found nothing to occasion much interest, so this time I went with a grumble. "What are you barking about now?"
This time, it was a snake, cornered in about the same spot as (I think) she'd once cornered a moccasin. (That happened while we were visiting Sweden. Granny L. and our neighbor down the road came to the rescue, but from what I've heard, it wasn't easy. Molly is a stubborn dog and didn't want to move out of the way enough for our neighbor to get a clear shot at the snake.)
I saw instantly that it wasn't the poisonous variety. I wasn't sure what it was, though, and in any case, I didn't want her to be bitten. Even a nonvenomous snake bite can become infected. After running out and calling to her, fruitlessly, I thought about Trixie. So far, she had stayed on the other side of the house (despite Molly's frantic and outraged barking), but I realized that if I kept calling Molly, she might come check things out and get involved, too. Just what I needed-- two dogs refusing to listen to me!
So-- I ran and got Trixie-- put her inside-- and ran back out to Molly. More calling with similar results. She just tuned me out. The snake was rattling its tail (imitating a rattlesnake) and "striking" at her, which only seemed to further infuriate her. When the snake tried to turn and flee through a narrow opening, crazy Molly grabbed it and pulled it back!
I was making myself hoarse with calling her, but it was as though she couldn't even hear me. I had a thought-- ran back inside to fetch two of her most-coveted squeaky toys-- ran back outside-- and let the squeakies do my talking. To my surprise and immense relief, it worked! Molly finally looked in my direction and followed one of the toys as I tossed it out into the yard. I squeaked the other in my most tempting manner ;o) and eventually led her into the house with it.
I then went back out with the video camera and was able to identify the snake as a kingsnake. Fortunately, it seems that Molly was not bitten, and the last I saw of the snake, it appeared to be alright, too. I'm glad, because I'd hate to have killed a kingsnake. Not only are they themselves nonvenomous, but they also constrict and eat, among other things, other snakes-- including pit vipers like cottonmouths, rattlesnakes, and copperheads. They have an amazing immunity that renders bites from venomous snakes relatively harmless.
Sorry for the shaky camerawork! I didn't have time to set up the tripod, and I had to zoom in pretty far. We all know how well *that* works.
(Hm. Looks like I need to clean the area around our front door!)